How To Become A Superhero In 4 Easy Steps

Last week while watching Kick-Ass, I was trolling around the Nerd Fitness Message Boards and came across an introduction post from Crizomaticus which ended with this:

Crizomaticus is a name I took on with my health kick, which started by doing the warrior dash. It stuck.

I then thought back to my buddy Tony who had adopted the persona “Endorphin Dude” for every time that he ran in a race.  Tony has even created a uniform for himself, including a custom headband with “Endorphin Dude” written on it and a cape that billows in the wind as he runs. I can’t believe it took me this long to write this article, because it just fits:

It’s time for you to become a superhero.

If you’re struggling with motivation, or you’re just getting started on your quest to level up and you’re intimidated, building an superhero version of yourself could be the jump start you need. Here’s why:

Superheroes kick ass!

Whether they’re in video games, comic books, or movies, superheroes are so damn awesome because they can do the impossible, giving us a chance to escape the real world and live vicariously through them.

They’re lighting fast, incredibly strong, and invincible; they can fly, stop bullets, and scale buildings. They’re brave as hell and enjoy walking into dire situations with a giant smile. They beat the crap out of any adversary, save the girl/world/dog from certain death, and then brush it off with some witty double entendre.

Superheroes are bad ass mofos, and it’s time for you to become one too.

1) Decide what you want to accomplish

You might be overweight, out of shape, scared to leave your house, and embarrassed about your life. However, you can create an alter ego that is the exact opposite of those things, and THAT’S the person that will turn things around.

Just think of all of the scenarios that play out in your quest to get in shape:

  • You might give up two miles into a 5k because you’re tired. Your alter ego might dig deep, and still walk the rest of it to prove to yourself you can finish!
  • You might quit your workout program because you are full of self-doubt. Your alter ego would get confidently angry (and you wouldn’t like him/her when he/she is angry), get motivated to try again, and get back on the horse.
  • You might be incredibly self-conscious. Your alter ego isn’t self-conscious in the slightest, thanks to a “costume” and persona that is different from how you normally dress and act.  If people can’t recognize you, there’s no need to be self-conscious, right?

Make the superhero version of yourself do all of the things that you’re afraid of or struggling with. Why? Because superheroes attack problems in way different ways than a normal cubicle dweller. That’s why they exist – to do stuff that ordinary people can’t.

2) Determine your persona

By day, Tony is an ordinary employee for Dolby Laboratories.

He hangs out with his dog Chewbacca, creates short films with his friends, and lives an relatively ordinary life. However, practically every single weekend, Tony dons his customary uniform and becomes Endorphin Dude.  He has a cape, a custom headband, and a huge freaking smile.  Wearing this uniform makes Tony impervious to pain and allows him to finish some excruciatingly difficult races where normal Tony might have failed.

Normally, I’m just plain ole’ Steve. I spend my time working on Nerd Fitness, answering emails, writing articles, and hanging out on Twitter. I’m always really happy and smiling. Things change whenever I go to the gym, however.

I throw on my uniform: a ripped up t-shirt, basketball shorts, and a permanent scowl. My headphones are in, I jump around between sets to pump myself up, and get this crazy look in my eyes before every set. I become a much angrier, stronger, and more determined version of me, and it WORKS.

What about you? Some superheroes have elaborate costumes to hide their identity.  Others like Superman simply remove their glasses and throw on some spandex and suddenly nobody can recognize them. Some people become funny and confident when they transform; others become more businesslike and hardcore. Some like to work together in groups. Others like to work alone.

Your alter ego can be whatever you want it to be, so dream big, kid.

Each day, as you shed your shirt and tie (or skirt and high heels) from the office, you are transforming. As you start to put on your workout clothes, your daily worries, troubles at home, and anxiety about tomorrow’s presentation cease to exist for the time being – you’re  now a superhero and you have bigger fish to fry.

As you’re getting prepped and ready, imagine your pre-workout ritual being filmed with dramatic camera angles and inspiring music playing. If Tony Stark can have a montage, so can you.

3) Pick a theme song

While transitioning from normal Steve to Rebel-1, I always turn on music to get fired up. My song of choice is  Eminem’s “Til I Collapse” – it puts me in the right frame of mind to get angry and go kick some ass. Seriously, listen to this song and imagine me dramatically getting ready and leering menacingly into a mirror.

Ridiculous, I know…Ridiculously awesome.

Get yourself a montage pump-up song. After that, make sure you have some other songs that can be used for the other super dramatic or action-filled moments of your super hero life. I have a workout playlist that makes me excited and motivated.

Do you have songs for these moments?

  • If you’re a runner, do you have a songs that help you climb those hills when giving up is the easier option?
  • If you’re a weight lifter, do you have specific songs you can turn to when you need that extra bit of oomph to finish the set?
  • If you’re into martial arts, how many times a day do you listen to “You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito? [just kidding. kind of.]

4) Decide what you stand for

What are you fighting for? Superman adheres to a strict moral code when dealing with crime, fighting to protect Lois Lane and save Earth.

Batman does everything in his power to clean up the streets of Gotham, striking fear in the hearts of would-be criminals and thieves.

Whenever I lift weights, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion is in the front of my mind. I exercise to inspire and motivate, because you inspire and motivate me. It’s easy to fight with conviction when you have something worth fighting for.

Think of the NF Rebel Army like a real life Justice League.

We’re all different, we all have unique talents and abilities, and we’re all dealing with our own Kryptonite.

We’re also all fighting for the same cause: to become better people, to help those around us, and to leave the world a better place for our kids.

We have certain standards that we must live up to, and we know that with each others’ support we can create a movement that is more powerful than anything this world has seen.

We’re the good guys, and we want you on our side.

Who are you?

I challenge you to create an alter ego for yourself. Think up a cool name, pick a theme song, pick your uniform, and pick your special power.

Who is your alter ego, and what special powers can you bring to the Rebellion?

Lastly, what are you fighting for?




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